The Miracle of Love or how a unicorn overran herself
I am in the same time a natural born enthusiast and a natural born killer of routine. That makes me a wonderful creative human being and a lousy achiever on many of my let us say sparkling ideas.
I have been reading about and often practising persistence and grit. I have passion, but I do not have continuity, therefore I am not a gritty individual on my own. I need to fight with my own weaknesses and limitations and push myself into a rigurous schedule that would make me achieve goals. Easily said, more difficult achieved when it comes to discipline and sweat.
On Sunday, October 15th 2017 I ran my second half marathon. 21,097 km precisely, approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes. In real terms, it is 3 minutes less, depending on your running history and consequently your pole position. As I have just one track record, I started from the E sector (at least it was not the last one, good girl, Raluca;).
Both marathon and half marathon races started in the same time and had a common route for 21 kilometers. Based on the colours from the contest labels, everybody knew who were who: yellow for marathon, pink for half marathon.
Why would you care about a story that is my own?
Sarah Stillman, an American journalist and a speaker on the Power of Storytelling conference warned us to get systemic about our writting: “offer patterns, not just individual data points”.
So what is your pattern here that would resemble mine so that I could make you tick or even shed a tear?
- I was not at all into sport. Never. Since high school I asked my father to help me get sport class exemptions with ridiculous excuses. I was partially lazy and partially pissed because of my below average performance. I started running 3 years ago (at the venerable age of 38!) and was able to make a complete park lap (approximately 5,8 km) from the first attempt. I read it as a sign for my overall mind and body resistance proven also by previously coping to stupid situations for longer time than normally expected.
- Why running a second half marathon, what would be the fun about repeating the sweat, what would be the new sensations? After having my first serious run in May 2017, fulfilling a self-made tribute to a friend who died unexpectedly on Christmas day in 2016, apparently there was no new motivation to start it over again. It was not easy: for two months and a half I had been training myself 4 times a week, with a total of 25 to 30 km. Moreover, this time I should have started running in full summer, with high temperatures that are good for the tan but not for the run. Not mentioning that rigurousity does not fit into summer mood, when there is a call for the sea, a call for the party and a call for a trip.
- Enjoy the sweat, mingle with the people and the atmosphere. Suddenly I recalled that having done something for the first time, I was not able to enjoy it to its fullest. Back in May, I was tense about being able to finish the 21 kilometers. I only had trainings on 17 kilometers, so I was not sure whether My Asics app was right about presuming that whoever was able to run 17 would be able to run extra 4 in a competition. Therefore, I was more focused on listening the app instructions on time and speed, listening to music and friends encouragements and less on the surroundings. This time I would dive into the ocean of fun, solidarity, effort and reward of thousands of people. I would cheer the wheel chaired running people, I would shout “Respect”, I would make fun of other dressed-up runners (I decided to be a unicorn and I made fun of a lion), I would do Facebook Live sessions and Instastories and I would, oh, smile and enjoy the power of freedom.
- Oh, come on, do not tell me this is a boring runners sect. What about yours? I was in the same shoes couple of years ago and I was making fun of whoever wanted to convince me about running: I have already have my professional sect, can’t make it for two! I was right, I can not focus on two important things in the same time and I am as masculine as that. But this is not a plea for you to start running, it is a plea to fight your weaknesses and limitations, the ones that set you apart from discovering a new self. I discovered I am capable to follow a strict and needy routine if I have a clear goal and future goal track. And the goal is meaningful and fun:) I decided that this is an intermediary stept to a full marathon next year!
- From Frida to a Unicorn, bumping into a Lion. Last time I was dressed up like Frida, wearing a flowery head band, this time I decided to be a running unicorn. I was running next to a lion - a guy with a fake fur lion cap. I made fun of him being too slow: come on, lion, you do not want to be outdistanced by a unicorn, but later on I realized he was running the full marathon, so I apologised when accidentally saw him at the finish line.
- The last kilometer, from 20 to 21 is a state-of-the art cumulus of excitement, joy, pain, tears, empowerment, self gratitude, self respect and so on. Kind of one moment that joins them all: getting the first prize in school, getting the biggest promotion, getting the highest raise, getting the best orgasm. With the only difference that the intensity is higher because it was only your hard effort that took you to that point, not any extra help needed. Ok, you can joke about your only effort and orgasm, it is allowed if you only move your ass into something you never thought you would:)
- More than numbers: 2.801 participants, 823 women, #387 in women ranking, #1.887 in general ranking. Of course I am interested in numbers, it is the ultimate outcome of a training. I trained less than I did in the spring, but I felt I gained power, I could run faster with less effort. This is encouraging for one self. It leads me further to my next year marathon target.
I was listening to music from time to time, when I felt I needed extra energy, besides drinking water and power gels. Particularly at the kilometers 13, 14 and 17, 18. I partially re listened the family and friends encouragement from the previous race. Most of the time I enjoyed the running, the other runners, the cheering volunteers, the cheering street passers-by and the live sessions on social media.
On the last kilometer I played Eurythmics The Miracle of Love, a song that I sometimes listened while training at a friend’s suggestion. And this is how my feet - apparently my newest asset - flew me to the finish line, in a miracle of overruning myself.
P.S. Special thanks to my family who has been a strong supporter and enabler of it. Hope my son will recall me as an ambitious individual more than anything else.